Affordable housing policy 'desperate'
A NEW affordable housing policy is desperately needed as soon as possible, says the Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC).
Late last week the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Housing) was scrapped, with NSW Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, calling an immediate halt to new development applications.
Existing applications – such as Chris Condon’s 74-unit Greenwood Chase development at Lennox Head – will be subject to a “character test”.
This aims to ensure they comply with local development control plans.
Mr Hazzard said the government would now establish an affordable housing taskforce to develop a new policy.
NRSDC homelessness research officer, Trish Evans, acknowledged that some changes were needed.
But she said there was a concern that a new policy would take too long.
“This could just delay legislation that we really do need,” she said.
“There is a dire need for affordable housing in this area.
“One of the big problems is that there is a lot of confusion between social housing and affordable housing, so more education is needed.
“And a new policy should have a process to take into account community views and local conditions.
“We just hope that it doesn’t take too long.”
“This is about enabling people to live and work in our coastal areas in particular.
“There are people in our coastal pockets who spend 60% of their income on rent, and these are people who are only on moderate incomes.”